What Does ‘Minimum Odds’ Mean?

Minimum SignpostWhen probing the various betting-related jargon, you’ve probably come across the term ‘minimum odds’.

The term doesn’t apply to the odds of a selection being given a set minimum, i.e., a bookmaking committing to offering no less than 3/1 on a certain horse or no less than 4/6 for a football team, but rather to the minimum odds a selection of your choice has to be in order to use bonus money or free bet tokens.

Minimum odds then are essentially the lowest possible odds a selection can be in order for you to back it and still be eligible for the bonus, or to count towards the bonus requirements. Minimums in sports betting typically range from 1/2 (1.50) up to even-money (1/1, 2.00) and while you can bet at lower odds, those bets won’t count towards releasing your bonus.

How Do Minimum Odds Work in Sports Betting?

Minimum Odds Example

For the most part, bonuses offered to both new and existing customers will come with various caveats; sometimes wagering requirements and often with minimum odds attached.

The idea from the bookmaking side of things is to not allow bonus-chasers to take advantage of the system purely to make easy money before leaving the bookmaker’s custom.

For example; a bookmaker may offer a welcome bonus in which you deposit £10 and they offer you 4 x £5 free bets. What they don’t want is you betting on heavy odds on favourites with that money, ploughing all of the money into 1/5 shots (for instance) and then clearing off with the albeit small win.

Bigger Odds May Offer Better Value

Price v Value

The trick here is to move completely against what the bookmakers fear. This is not to be in their pockets in any way, but it’s simply you as a punter admitting they have a system that stops short-term manipulation of the bonus system which would only net you a tiny profit anyway.

For example; if you did have the typical £20 to £30 in bonus bets, let’s go for the higher amount, and you bet on 1/2 shots, even if two out of three are successful your profit would be the princely sum of £10! Why bother?

To give yourself a shot at actually getting something out of such bonuses, it would be much better to aim for higher value bets. Especially when the free bet stake is not returned with the winnings.

True, the higher the odds of your selection, the less likely it is to be successful. But, are you willing to forego £10 to try and achieve more from a bet that was given to you as a promotion in the first place? Most would.

Thinking positively about one such higher-value selection being possible, this could be done with your bonuses, based on being given 3 x £10 free bets:

  • £10 free bet on a selection at 12/1 – lost
  • £10 free bet on a selection at 25/1 – lost
  • £10 free bet on a selection at 6/1 – won (return £60)

That’s much better than looking for perceived certainties at very short prices.

Minimum odds, whether we like them or not, are here to stay but as always in the betting world, fortune favours the brave. So don’t mess around with odds-on shots when it’s not your money at stake, and enjoy the excitement of cheering on a big-priced outsider that could turn your free bet into a decent win.